Archive for the ‘Trump’ Category

I’m President and You’re Not

I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president and you’re not.

— Donald Trump

When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.

— Richard Nixon

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For those of us who thought that Trump might “clean up his act” once he was president now know: What we saw is what we got. Trump is a boor. Always been one, always will be one.

When he was a businessman in New York, he could trample on others, throw tantrums, sue people, stiff contractors and insult employees.

Now, the whole world is listening to every word that comes out of his mouth. And it’s not pretty. Trump speaks like a fourth grader, and he rambles. Listen carefully and you will notice that he says everything two or three times to fill dead air. A point that could be made with five well-chosen words expands into ten paragraphs of drivel. Only when he reads off paper or a teleprompter does he utter sentences, but they are stiff and wooden. He is not even a good reader, or his speech writers are bad writers so his words don’t ring real.

Here is the problem, though. As a CEO, if you can’t speak, or can’t control what you say, you’re being punished by your business and your customers. When you’re the president of a nation, you have the smartest people in the country paying attention to what you do and say, and the very sharpest foreign leaders and diplomats are at your table or next to you at the lectern.

These people can tell immediately when you don’t know what you’re talking about. Trump’s statements about NATO funding today were utterly ridiculous and simply exposed him as a fool. Every world leader knows that now. And worse, everyone who works for Trump, either his direct reports in the White House or Cabinet, or the people in the EPA, in NASA, in the CIA, FBI and the NSA – all highly intelligent, expertly educated, highly credentialed professionals – all cringe every time our Embarrassment-in-Chief opens his mouth or posts on Twitter.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

— attributed to Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and many others.

I know what Angela Merkel is thinking now, and it’s not just because I speak German.

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Cady McCall is an iOS game programmer who just struck it rich by publishing a hit game which she sold to Apple. As she walks home alone from a meeting at night in Seattle, she is followed and then mugged. A rescuer comes along just as she passes out.

When she wakes up, she is in a moldy and dirty room in London in the 1880s, with a man named Titanic Smith, a U.S. Marshal from the Wild West.

As the two try to figure out what happened to them, they have a number of adventures in time, with one trip even to ancient Rome.

A Girl in Time is a time travel adventure story, and that’s how I came across it. The first third of the book was hard to read for me. The author, an experienced writer of many other books, mostly in the genre of alternative history, uses too many trite clichés that I found distracting. I have this pet peeve about meals always being “washed down” with a couple of beers. Here is another example:

They did not return to her apartment. Not this time. Instead they caught a cab to the Alexis Hotel after she’d grabbed a couple of adjoining rooms on Expedia.

Who “grabs” a room?

Also, the author applies a strange point of view switch, that, if it were executed correctly, could work quite well.

For instance, Cady is a 2016 American hip girl in her early twenties. And she speaks and thinks like one. Smith is a 19th century U.S Marshal from the West. He has a folksy way of talking and thinking. The author switches between the two points of view and gets into the heads of the protagonists, so we hear them thinking, but the switch occurs randomly inside paragraphs or chapters, which results in occasional confusion. Who is telling the story?

Generally, when an author does this, he works using alternate chapters with different view points, and it’s pronounced and clear. Now we’re seeing the story from Cady’s point of view, now from Smith’s.

A little editing of the books structure could have fixed this.

Now here is the cool part, if you’re still reading: About 40% into the book, Smith and Cady land by accident in Seattle in 2019, and a different 2019 it is.

Donald Trump is now president for life. The United States has become a dystopian fascist country. Homeland Security agents are executing brutal raids on citizens, reminiscent of the Gestapo in East Germany. People get arrested for criticizing the government. They get sent to “the Wall” to perform forced labor. Here is Cady talking:

“Oh, you mean when I rescued you from the fucking Fourth Reich run by an angry Cheetos demon and its talking peehole?”

I got a kick out of the Fourth Reich episode, since I found it so timely. I cannot tell when Birmingham released A Girl in Time; the book oddly lacks a copyright page. He must have written it before Trump was elected, and he simply played on the theme. We’re obviously not a dystopian fascist country yet, but some of the things being done now are very scary and Birmingham predicted them in this novel.

Some Amazon reviewers blasted the writer for letting his political views come through and using the book to lecture. For me, it was the opposite.

As far as time travel adventures go, this is a so-so book and I am not sure I’ll be interested in reading the sequel when it comes out – but I might.

As far as the sequence on Trump, it made this book, and therefore, even though I would have only given it a two-star rating, I bumped it up by half a star. It will probably boost Trump’s ego when he finds out he is a character in a novel, even though not a flattering one.

Trump, the angry Cheetos demon!

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Trump’s Management and Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, said that reducing government spending on ineffective programs is “probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.”

Now how is that for a batshit crazy statement from an apparently deranged administration? I would definitely not call it “compassionate.” Maybe frugal, fiscally responsible, socially responsible, responsible — those would all be words that I could marginally accept, since valid arguments can be made. Taking something of significance away from people is not compassionate under any circumstances.

One of my readers (MB) has suggested that it’s not just the meal, but the fact that volunteers deliver the meals, and that this visit by a volunteer is often the only human contact the elderly recipient gets all day, is a huge contributing argument.

Finally, I challenge Mulvaney’s term “ineffective programs” in this context. Who decides whether it’s ineffective? Ask one of the recipients that’s eating. Not a single one of them will call it ineffective.

It has been estimated that an entire year of meals on wheels for a senior costs as much as ONE DAY in the hospital for that senior. The whole idea of the program is to provide nutritious meals for low-income seniors in their homes, so they don’t have to go out in the cold to shop and eat out, and risk hurting themselves by falling.

Supposedly 500,000 veterans are on meals on wheels. In 2016, 219 million meals were delivered to 2.4 million seniors.

The cost of the program is about $1.4 billion, $523 million come from the Federal Government. So we’re saving $523 million dollars.

Every single F-35 fighter plane costs over $100 million. We’re buying 2,443 of them, this was under Obama. Trump is increasing the military budget by $50 billion.

Are we really saying that we can’t live with five F-35 planes less to pay for meals on wheels in 2017?

Hell, in the Yemen raid they abandoned a single Osprey helicopter valued at $75 million due to a poorly planned and executed raid. That’s 15% of the entire annual meals on wheels budget for the Federal Government.

And more hell, Trump has already spent more than $10 million on vacations for himself since he’s been in office. That would have paid for the program for one week. But Trump getting to spend time in Florida is obviously more important.

A society shows where its values are by where it spends its money. Trump obviously has no values other than his own aggrandizement. But I am ashamed for everyone else in the government and Congress who go along with these despicable and senseless changes to a well-working system.

But then, lies are truth, war is peace, and taking meals away from 2.4 million seniors is compassionate.

Crooks, they are.

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These men have held political rallies after they were democratically elected:

  • Mussolini
  • Hitler
  • Stalin
  • Castro
  • Berdimukhamedov (Turkmenistan 2007)
  • Kim Jong-in
  • Trump

I will leave it to you to draw your conclusions.

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Free Melania

Saw this on a parking lot in Hawaii.

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The absurdity of the wall is demonstrated by Braulio Guerra, a Mexican congressman.

Have you ever built a garden and watched what the rabbits and gophers do to your carrots? We once grew a batch of heirloom tomatoes. They looked beautiful. Until they were almost ripe and rats took them all.

Have you then tried to enclose your garden with chicken wire? Even burying the underground barrier two feet down and three feet up somehow didn’t keep the critters out.

I am not comparing people to rats and gophers. People are way smarter. Throughout history, walls have not worked. People climb over them, find holes in them, cut through them and burrow tunnels underneath them. People fly over them.

Forty percent of our illegal immigrants came here by airplane.

The wall is an absurdity. It is a political spectacle designed by a show-man con-man to foment the fury of the public. The wall is propaganda. Now the public is apparently willing to spend $15 billion of tax money to build an absurdity of unmatched proportion to prove no point at all.

This is happening while funding for the arts and healthcare is cut, Social Security is attacked, and many other valuable government services are raided.

We are about to spend $15 billion on an absurd spectacle of propaganda. Read my lips: this wall will never be finished. We will point to the relics decades from now in disbelief. It will be a visible reminder of an absurd boondoggle of an even more absurd administration.

Eso es lo que tengo que decir del absurdo del muro.

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Trump is complaining about Obama wiretapping Trump’s phones? We have a low-life dive-bar bully for a president.

Ah, and there is the “very sacred election process.” Let’s see how this all will end. I wonder what the wiretaps, if they exist, will bring forward?

A former policy adviser to President Obama is firing back at President Trump’s claim that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, saying it didn’t happen — at least not under Obama’s orders.

“No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,” Ben Rhodes tweeted Saturday morning.

He also said “only a liar” could make the case, as Trump suggested, that Obama wire tapped Trump Tower ahead of the election.

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The Trump phenomenon still baffles me, and I assume it always will. The man looks incompetent. He speaks like a fifth-grader. When he reads his speeches, like the joint session of Congress speech earlier this week, he looks wooden and stilted. Everyone praised him for looking presidential. To me, he looked fake.  His actions are not congruent with what he says, most of the time. His plans are vapor. He talks about things that make no sense. He makes false statements, knowing fully well they are false. He doesn’t care about the average, middle-class citizen. To me, all this is completely obvious. I can’t believe that others don’t see it too.

Trump supporters don’t seem to see this. It’s baffling to me. There is one thing that all Trump supporters eventually say that justifies everything else that’s going on:

Trump is a brilliant business man, he has had great business success, and he will use that skill for the good of our country, if we only give him the chance.

That’s the argument everyone makes, and it is the core of their justification.

Well, I don’t agree. He is not a brilliant business man, just like Russian oligarchs are not brilliant business men. I think he is simply very good at manipulating others to do his bidding, and to “use the system” to his advantage.

I am a business man. I would not call myself brilliant. But I have run businesses for most of my career, and the last and current one for over 25 years now. I have created hundreds of direct jobs over the years. I have created more than $50 million of direct economic activity in the last 15 years alone, and probably generated several times more indirect activity as a result. I don’t have an airplane with my name on it. I fly coach. I am not rich. But I have been productive all my life, and I have been honest.

I have never filed for bankruptcy, either personal or in business. I have never “used the system” like Trump has several times. Every contractor I ever engaged got paid exactly what the contract said I would pay him. Every time. I have never been sued by anyone. When the market crashed, due to reckless dealings on Wall Street by Trump cronies, and due to bad regulatory oversight by our government, my real estate dropped to 35% of its value in 2008, and for the past nine years the property still has not recovered the value I paid for it at the time. It’s still upside down today. I have paid my mortgage every month, on time. Financial advisors have told me to walk away from it over the years. But I pay my mortgage because I wrote on a piece of paper in 2004 that I would. I could have “used the system” and been what Trump calls “smart,” but my honor and integrity is more important to me than being smart and rich.

Trump, the brilliant business man, does apparently not see anything wrong with “using the system” to shed his debt when he makes a bad deal, or when economic conditions work against him. I do.

When you file for bankruptcy, you are making other people pay for your losses. There is no more favorable way to put it.

When you don’t pay your contractors what you promised to pay them, you are using other people’s money to enrich yourself, and you are using bully tactics to intimidate them into settling. This is not smart or brilliant, it’s simply reckless.

This may work in business. Trump has an airplane with his name on it. And I simply go to work every day. But I don’t believe it works when you lead a country.

When we screw this up, everyone pays for our mistakes. If we are wrong on global warming, and if we’re creating hell for our grandchildren, they pay. They may curse us, but the will pay. When we see nothing wrong with polluting our rivers with toxic coal residue, and people downstream are poisoned, so people upstream can have jobs, those downstream pay. They may not like it. See what’s going on in Flint, Michigan. They may not like it, but they pay.

Is Trump really such a brilliant business man?

I am a business man, and I would be ashamed if I had used Trump’s tactics, like filing bankruptcy four times, like not paying income taxes for 20 years (which we can only assume he did), like suing contractors who worked on my buildings, like sexually assaulting women in my employ. I am proud that I was not a brilliant business man, I guess.

But then, I don’t have an airplane with my name on it, I don’t have luxury properties all over the world, and I don’t get to ride on Air Force One for my vacations, at $3 million of taxpayer money per trip.

Do you see why I am baffled?

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…to be banning networks and major, world-class newspapers, like the New York Times, from press briefings. Mark Cuban states it well:

Brilliant move. Ban the networks whose reports you don’t like. Yeah, that will work well!

You know how many Bernstein and Woodwards are out there right now investigating the Trump administration? Do you think they’re going to stop because CNN and the New York Times are banned from White House briefings.

I think not.

I think the opposite is happening.

And Trump and his stooges are scared shitless of the truth. It’s just a matter of time until they will be exposed.

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Here is an article about how Customs Agents, who are authorized to search international flights, searched a domestic Delta Airlines flight from San Francisco to New York. All passengers had to produce “documents” before they were allowed to get off the plane. Supposedly, they were looking for one (yes ONE) individual that might have been on the plane. He wasn’t.

This is the start of Trump’s police state. Now we’re having to worry about bringing “papers” when we travel inside the country.

The tactic is as old as civilization. Scare the public. Control the public. Make the public carry “papers.” Show uniforms. Misuse uniforms.

Note, Customs Agents are not even allowed to scan domestic flights. But they did. This is misuse of police power.

Trump is slowly creating a police state, and we’re letting him do it.

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So we have lots of headlines about how much money Trump has been spending on travel to Florida. Supposedly it’s been almost as much as what Obama spent in an entire year. Then there is talk about protecting his kids and their private business trips around the world; recently two of them went to Dubai and of course, the United States Secret Service gets to come along for the ride. Then there is talk about Melania not moving to Washington and staying at Trump Tower in New York. Numbers range for $500,000 to $1 million per day to protect her. I have been to Trump Tower and it’s amazing how it sits right in the middle of mid-town Manhattan, and the NYPD has to figure out how to keep it protected.

But that’s not even what I am talking about.

I am here spending my time writing about this buffoon. I have spent more hours writing about Trump since the middle of 2016 until now than I did about Obama in the eight years he was in office. Trump occupies us. Thousands of people feel compelled to protest. Thousands go to town halls to demand to speak to their representatives. Millions go on major protest marches. Millions rant on Facebook every day. I rant on Facebook. I spend way more time nightly watching the news of both sides just to keep up with Trump’s antics.

That is the true cost of a lunatic narcissist in the White House. The country needs a break from this insanity. But that’s exactly what he is doing. He is wearing us down. He has more stamina than we do. Soon we’ll get tired and used to the insanity, and then he’ll have us exactly where he wants us. Then shit will go down that we won’t even notice anymore. Real damage.

Trump is using up our vigor, our free time, hell, our work time. What were we thinking electing a lunatic narcissist to the presidency? It took 62 million people to get us here. Now it’s going to take all 32o million of us to get our country back.

Trump is too expensive for the nation.

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You know what the best thing about all this is? Trump supporters aren’t starstruck. They’re not there to see a celebrity or a political icon. They’re there to see one of their own, just a man who’s fighting for them

The deplorables enthusiasm & emotional zeal comes from the heart, it comes from the absolute excitement of hearing an actual warrior who fights for them & stands on principle, honor & integrity

Celebrity worship & shallow platitude ingesting is the leftists domain. The brainwashed masses eat up what their handlers feed them

But what we see here is actual Americans concerned about their country & how ecstatic they are that a real leader with real leadership capabilities is finally looking out for their interests

There’s no ideological global nonsense involved. It’s simply people who want jobs, safe communities & a country with a viable future

It’s nothing more than Americans cheering for America. What a concept



Seriously, alliwant?

You’re calling Trump “a real leader?”

You’re calling Trump “one of their own?”

The man who travels on the government’s 747, spends $11 million on vacations in the first month, almost as much as Obama did in his first year, and who chastised Obama for that at the time, one of the working classes’ own?

Trump is an “actual warrior who fights for them?”

How is this possible? Do you not see through the charade? Do you not see the fake dedication in his words and the deceit in his eyes? I am definitely not a leftist brainwashed sheep. But I can point out a con man when I see one.

And that is what Trump is, dear alliwantissometruth.

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